Storm Ciaran: ‘Major incident’ declared and 110mph wind warning as wild weather sweeps towards UK | UK News


A major incident has been declared in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight amid warnings that Storm Ciaran could pose a “risk to life” when it sweeps into England tonight.

Authorities said strong winds of up to 80mph were expected in coastal areas, potentially damaging buildings and causing trees to fall.

The storm is expected to arrive at around 6pm in Southampton, with the “major incident” status coming into force for the region from midnight.

The city’s Itchen Bridge will also be closed from 7pm on Wednesday due to the expected high winds, officials said.

It comes after ferry services were cancelled and a red weather warning was issued for the Channel Islands.

Forecasters said gusts of 98mph could hit the islands on Wednesday evening, with wind speeds of up to 110mph in the middle of the English Channel, according to shipping forecasts.

High tides could also force the closure of coastal roads, and residents have been urged to “avoid outdoor activities”.

In England, gusts could hit up to 95mph in some exposed areas.

Condor Ferries has already cancelled its freight and passenger routes between the Channel Islands and the UK on Wednesday and Thursday, while DFDS has axed services between Newhaven in East Sussex and Dieppe in France.

DFDS also has delays on its Dover-Calais routes due to high winds, while Brittany Ferries has warned of possible disruption to its cross-Channel routes.

It comes after the Met Office issued amber weather warnings for the South West and south coast of England for Thursday as Storm Ciaran approaches.

The agency said the wind and rain warnings would be in place from Wednesday night, with the storm due to cross southern Britain on Thursday.

Ahead of its arrival, parts of Northern Ireland have already been flooded by heavy rain and people have been warned not to travel.

Check the latest five-day forecast where you are

A Met Office amber alert warning has been issued for southwest and southern England on Thursday

Met Office yellow weather warnings for rain in the region were in place earlier today.

It warned of rainfall of between 25mm and 60mm in places, with up to 100mm on higher ground.

Amber weather warnings are in place for Cornwall and Devon between 3am and 11am on Thursday, and between 6am and 5pm the same day along the coast from Hampshire to Kent, as well as parts of East Anglia.

Forecasters said strong gusts – of 70mph to 80mph, perhaps exceeding 85 mph – could disrupt travel and cause damage to buildings, while flying debris could pose “a danger to life”.

Separate yellow warnings for wind and rain are in place spanning Wales, southern and parts of eastern England until midnight on Thursday, with one warning remaining in place until 6am on Friday covering parts of northeast England and northeast Scotland.

As of 1pm on Wednesday, 23 flood warnings have been issued, as well as 109 flood alerts across England.

Ben Lukey, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, said parts of the south coast could see “significant flooding” on Thursday.

“Rain from the storm could also see significant surface water and river flooding across parts of the west, south and north east of England from later today until Friday, with minor impacts possible more widely on Saturday due to further showers,” he said.

“We urge people to stay safe on the coast and to remember to take extreme care on coastal paths and promenades.”

HM Coastguard has issued a warning for people to “stay away from the water’s edge” and to avoid the areas most likely to be impacted by Storm Ciaran.

Trains and planes could be delayed, while roads and bridges face potential closure. Jersey Airport, the main transport hub to the Channel Islands, is due to close all day on Thursday.

National Rail is warning journeys could be impacted in Wales and the south of England by “heavy rain accompanied by strong winds” on Wednesday and Thursday, and across the northeast of England on Thursday and Friday.

Southern Rail, which runs services along the central area of England’s south coast, and up to London, is urging people to avoid non-essential travel on Thursday and to work from home where possible.

Read more:
Why Storm Ciaran will be so bad

Some attractions in the south of England have also announced plans to close on Thursday due to Storm Ciaran, including National Trust-run Mottisfont House in Hampshire.

NI business hit by Storm Ciaran

A number of high bridges, including the Orwell Bridge near Ipswich and the Itchen Bridge in Southampton, will also be shut from tonight due to high winds.

Meanwhile, the RAC has warned drivers in the south and west of the UK to avoid coastal and rural roads.

Flooding in Northern Ireland

There was flooding in Newry in County Down overnight on Monday into Tuesday after the city’s canal burst its banks, while in Dromantine around 100 sheep were rescued after becoming stranded in a flooded field.

A street is sandbagged to prevent water flowing further through the streets in Newry Town, Co Down

Flood water in McCartan Bros clothes store in Newry Town, Co Down

Newry resident Dessie Heatley described the scenes as a “repeat of what happened here around 35 years ago”.

“We were up and down here in boats,” he said. “It’s pretty bad, I’m sure all the shopkeepers are raging, we’d no warning or nothing.”

Residents row boat across flooded Northern Ireland streets

Downpours expected in parts of England and Wales

Storm Ciaran is set to bring strong winds and heavy downpours to southern parts of England and Wales – with “unsettled” conditions forecast for much of the UK.

Rainfall of 20mm to 25mm is expected across southern and western areas, with potentially more falling over higher ground, the Met Office said.

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Met Office meteorologist Clare Nasir said Storm Ciaran was “likely to be a notch down” in intensity from Storm Babet, but flooding could still occur because the ground is “so laden with water” and river levels “are at their highest”.

She told Sky News the key features would be “wind damage” and a “lot of rain”, and added that the wet weather would slowly move northwards.

Read more on Sky News:
Why Storm Babet brought so much rain

Police close beach after body found on shore
Rail ticket office closures cancelled after U-turn

Buckle up for some really wild weather

Buckle up for some really wild weather over the next few days.

Storm Ciaran is due to hit the UK on Wednesday night and into Thursday, bringing very high winds and a lot more rain.

The Met Office has issued an amber weather warning for Pembrokeshire, Cornwall and Devon between 3am and 1pm on Thursday, and the Channel coast from Dorset to Kent between 6am and 8pm.

Wind speeds could be 70-80mph on the coast, possibly exceeding 85mph in exposed spots.

That’s enough to cause significant damage to property, with debris being hurled through the air. Trees will also take a battering because they are still in full-leaf. And transport will be disrupted.

The storm will also bring lots more rain – and over a much wider area.

That’s because Ciaran will grind almost to a halt over the UK, its path blocked by a curl of the jet stream.

Then, just as Ciaran finally moves off over the North Sea, we get another storm piling in, bringing yet more rain over the weekend.

All in all, some really unpleasant weather for the rest of the week.

Ms Nasir said the storm would start affecting southern areas of the UK on Wednesday evening, as well as on Thursday morning during rush hour, before it tracks northwards.

“We could see some coastal flooding because the winds will be so strong, particularly initially across more southern areas,” she said.

“It’s not a fast-moving system, so it’s going to be with us for at least two-and-a-half, if not three, days and most places will be impacted in some shape or form by this storm.”

Her colleague Marco Petagna added: “There are possible gusts of 80mph to 90mph in some exposed southern areas. It’s probably quite a nasty storm this one.”

Is Storm Ciaran affecting an area near you?

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